Today we are in Greece. With traditional food in Europe, with beautiful beaches and thousands of islands, Greece is located on the southern tip of the Balkans and enjoys a Mediterranean climate.
The country is surrounded by three Ionian, Aegean and Libyan seas and has a coast of over 13,000 km. With its climate, the year can be divided into two seasons, the cold and rainy season from October to the end of March and the warm season from April to October. Greece is very famous with its mythology with its Greek eras such as the Odyssey and the Iliad, literature like the works of Homer. And a very varied architecture, without mentioning the precedents starting from elenika, Byzantine and modern that we find today also in other countries of Mediterranean Europe but also in the Balkans.
Greek cuisine has influenced, as in antiquity, also in the current neighboring countries but also in many countries of the Mediterranean basin. Greece is also a very important producer for Europe with its production of tomatoes, rice, olives but also of pistachios, almonds and figs. It has a very varied cuisine and each region has its strong dish.
Let’s see how the nation is divided and I hope that many local citizens or those who have had some experience can also contribute. Greece is divided into thirteen regions plus Mount Athos which is apart.
Starting from the deep south we find the region composed of all “South Aegean” islands. And more precisely it includes the islands “Cyclades” and ” Dodecanese”. Here we find one of the oldest kitchens in the world. Starting its history from the Roman period, Byzantium, the Franks, the Venetian era, the Ottoman Empire until today. Regional strength are fresh and quality raw materials in the gastronomic part and fabulous landscapes with marine scent, fresh air and the sun attract tourists from all over the world. In 2019 the region applied for the “European Gastronomy Region”.
Siros is the capital island of the South Aegean region and is part of the “Cyclades”. Instead, “Dori” is the largest island of the “Dodecanese” but also the fourth largest Greek island. Although a region of sunny islands is the main raw material and fishing. There is also a wide range of agricultural, livestock and beekeeping products. Which gives the opportunity to provide its guests with the best of its cuisine.
North Aegean region like the previous one and composed of only islands. Although less known, they have a lot to offer with landscapes, crystal clear waters and a lot of history. Their position approached the coasts of the Asian continent as well as a passage of goods, were and easily invaded first by the Persians and then by the Turks. The most popular tourist islands are Lesbos and Samos with sandy beaches and a nightlife. And then there are also islands such as Lemnos, Psara and Fournoi which are paradises, for those looking for quiet beaches and nothing else.
This region has a strong wine industry, produces both rose and white wines. Here too most of the production is that of fishing and beekeeping. Main products exported from the island are olive oil, cheeses, wine, honey and a large variety of fish and shellfish.
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
East Macedonia and Thrace is a region bordering Turkey to the east and Bulgaria to the north. To the southwest with the Aegean Sea and southeast with the Thracian Sea. It also includes the island of Thassos and the island of Samothrace. This is the largest region and many resources have been invested in infrastructure but also in agriculture. This is a region very rich in history and archaeological sites. Throughout its territory we find thousands of sites from prehistory to all evolutionary passages. But also a place of passage for many great empires.
Although full of history, mountain tourism and sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, it is still a little known and popular destination. This region is also the largest producer of tobacco and cotton as it needs nationally, also for export. The area is rich in local products, many of which are perhaps unique in their micro climate. Then to get to all the common fruit and vegetables, and many legumes from the vegetable world. To get to cheese, milk, yogurt and a great variety of bovine and sheep meat from the uncontaminated pastures of the animal world. So with all this variety of raw materials and with the influence of neighboring cultures we find a region with very different kitchens from city to city without missing the quality and freshness of local products.
I hope you enjoyed the short introduction of the first part of Greek regions. And that soon I will publish the second part. If there are shortcomings or untrue things, I’m glad to make me notice this error, to correct or add. Thanks